In recent years, fire-raising has become an increasing problem in Britain and elsewhere, and now involves many professionals in the investigation and management of those who set fires. The motives of fire-raisers are complex and their behaviour is hard to change. Herschel Prins sets the problem in an historical and anthropological context, examines the size of the problem, its investigation and motivation, in a way which will enable more effective management.
Fire, its uses and misuses, has always had a fascination for most people, whether they be interested lay observers or those professionally involved in investigating and managing those who use fire for unlawful purposes. Recent years have witnessed a marked increase in fire-setting behaviour at an international level and the cost in both human and economic terms has also been rising steadily. Many individuals are involved in dealing with the problem, including fire service staff, police, medical professionals of various kinds, but in particular psychiatrists, social workers, lawyers and sentencers. There are many papers scattered through a range of professional and academic journals on this topic but few books that bring together the material in such an easy to assimilate form as Fire-Raising . In the book, Herschel Prins sets the problem of fire-raising in an historical and anthropological context, examines the rise of the problem, discloses methods of investigation, and by outlining motivation in both adults and children suggests ways forward for effective management.
Midlands Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Loughborough